PHIRST Activities Tim Wilson Public Advisor

In the first of a series of blogs, Tim Wilson a Public Advisor for PHIRST LiLaC talks about his experiences of being involved in the development of the funding application for PHIRST LiLaC and about his involvement in two evaluations currently being carried out by the team.

BEFORE PHIRST – Part of a series of meetings between LiLaC and public advisors to assist in LiLaC’s application to National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) to become evaluators of Local Authority (LA) health projects – PA’s made suggestions about public involvement. For example, we suggested how expressions of interest by LA could detail initial prior public involvement in their specific intended projects and then how the public could assist in evaluation and possibly be involved in evaluating these actualised projects alongside the PHIRST teams.  Also, we discussed the possibility of leaving a legacy of community researchers to be utilised by LA and the community,  this in itself could be health enhancing by increasing connectivity, activism and skill development for the public.  The application for LiLaC to become a PHIRST team was successful, and I hope the Public Advisors played a part in this.

Trauma Informed Intervention for people with complex substance use needs evaluation

I attended with Michelle Collins the on-line workshop with “experts by experience”, who were experienced in going through a type of trauma informed pathway. I learnt a lot, listened to experiences – gave dialogue some semi structure by suggesting they talk about views on the trauma informed intervention in five stages – impact got them talking.  These people were full of knowledge and suggestions e.g., best times to ask specific questions (at what stage in pathway) reflection, good exchange, experience – this group will continue to take interest in the project/evaluation and will act as public/expert involvement/advice.

Further meeting trauma informed intervention– with the Support Team carrying out the intervention – again with Michelle Collins, support team members, assistant psychologists, and others.  Michelle went through aspects of research in an educational pragmatic sense, issues to consider. I joined this workshop later to give information about the role of public advisors (PA) and potential roles/use of PA. We discussed stages of research that PA can be utilised: idea, topic, why emphasise, information on why this focus, perspectives, who have you asked in the public, those suffering from inequities? –  pilot, data collection, analysis (two later – the method), methodology the justification of methods –I didn’t go into details on coding in analysis, write up, including lay summary, dissemination, implementation, impact, then finally the possible legacy and resource for further community lay researchers.

We also discussed principles of health-related research, equity/inequities issues, intersectionality issues (mentioned characteristics of Equality Act 2010 and social class, goal of upstream public health (ideally projects to keep people in health or stop further health deterioration).

I have also attended a data analysis workshop and undertaken analysis of interview transcripts.

Kent Money & Mental Health Service evaluation

I attended the first initial on-line meeting for the Kent Money & Mental Health Service. Congenial first meeting , exchange of ideas, setting the scene, describing of details and situation, time scales – good cross party exchange of issues. I contributed some detailed suggestions which seemed to be appreciated by the Kent team. The suggestions included how they can: utilise public engagement and feedback, get quality impact feedback, and utilise public’s knowledge particularly around impact possibilities.

I reviewed academic papers on debt, financial issues, suicidal ideation, and mental health issues. I also made suggestions on literature review, specific websites, and recommendations on the Money & Mental Health Service evaluation protocol.

I attended a tripartite workshop on welfare/money, ways to wellbeing/Citizens Advice and money and mental health – posted comments in the chat and spoke about issues of evaluation of mental issues using various tools.